After all the questions about the injured guys who are slowly making their way back to the practice field and into our hearts, I asked Jim Harbaugh about what he noticed from the Titans’ latest game, a tough 20-13 loss in Seattle.
Harbaugh called the Titans a “fine football team,” but among his compliments the one that stood out was when he said, “Probably the best team we’ve seen at stripping, clubbing, punching the ball out, creating turnovers.”
That led to a follow-up question about Frank Gore, which led to our Harbaughism of the day. Last week it was the story about the olive jar. On Sunday, the 49ers “grinded some meat.” Today’s analogy was a little less appetizing.
“Well, don’t see anybody doing it better than Frank Gore. He had the one that got stripped out from a defender coming from a non-aggressive angle and he didn’t see him and he let his guard down. When that happens to Frank, you’re not going to sneak up on Frank again and hit him over the head with a bag of dung a second time. That’s how I feel about Frank. So, it’s a huge point of emphasis for him.”
Who’s getting hit over the head with a bag of dung the first time? Is this something that happened during Jim’s childhood? We’ll probably never know, but now we have a brand new way to describe the old, “fool me once, shame on you … fool me twice, shame on me,” saying.
As for the issue at hand — turnovers — it is one that the 49ers need to pay attention to. The Titans have a takeaway/giveaway differential of +8, second in the NFL behind the Kansas City Chiefs (+12). The Titans have six interceptions, and they’ve recovered seven of the eight fumbles they’ve forced.
Both Gore and Colin Kaepernick have lost one fumble each — Gore has only fumbled once this season, while Kaepernick has coughed it up twice, including one he lost last week. Kaepernick is responsible for six of the team’s seven turnovers this season and has lost three fumbles in his career, so maybe he’s the one who should look out for a bag of something stinky flying toward his head.